Social distancing

Secretariat demonstrates social distancing

I’ve worked from a home office since 1991, so the concept of social distancing and staying home all day is not that foreign to me. I think the problem comes when you can’t — or aren’t supposed to — leave.

After my accident, I was basically stuck. First spending two weeks in rehab, and then being in the house for about two months. Until I could be on crutches, there wasn’t a good way for me to leave the house. We have 16 stairs going from the entrance to the living floor, and when I was in a wheelchair, it was an almost impossible obstacle, an endeavor undertaken only for doctors’ appointments. Although my husband installed a wheelchair ramp behind the house, pushing the chair down the hill on a narrow, muddy path, was a bit like being on a runaway horse; I just hoped to get to the bottom (or top) in one piece. At one point the chair tipped so much I thought I’d end up on the ground and pondered how I’d possibly get back up again.

So, while social distancing or shelter in place, which I’m sure is coming, may sound bad, it’s not nearly as stressful as knowing you can’t get out of the house easily even in an emergency. Right now I’m most concerned about the people who really can’t leave their living space — the elderly, in particular, who are at such high risk. For them, Covid-19 has reduced their world to four walls. Where my father lives, the complex is bringing meals to their apartments and leaving them outside the door. Residents are discouraged from leaving their apartments and visitors are being aggressively screened. They are doing the best they can, but it’s worrying.

For now I wish that everyone, even the young and healthy, would keep to themselves. Walk your dog, ride your horse, read a book, work from home. There will be plenty of time to socialize later. It disturbs me to see people continuing to flock to the Florida beaches to party, or packing themselves into bars and clubs. Remember that even if you’re not at risk, your parents, your grandparents and your neighbors may well be. Now is the time to be like Secretariat. By keeping your distance you can show your class.

One thought on “Social distancing

  1. I like this, Liz, and I must say that this post’s title made me LOL for real. I should think 31 lengths is enough distance!!

    The thing that concerns me about ‘sheltering in place’ and staying home is that the people making this decisions live in cities. I live way out in the country. No cable company has bothered with us. Our cell phone signal is scanty. Our bandwidth MIGHT hit 3G on a good day, when no one else is using the internet (as only one company has a signal that reaches this far out). I’ve lived here since 92 and not once have I ever seen a pizza delivered. The nearest grocery is 15 miles away. I’ve never seen a deliverer out here other than UPS-Fed Ex doesn’t even try.
    It’s not as if we’re in a trackless desert. Our road is paved and we get mail delivered. But we’re a long ways from city, and I want it to stay that way.

    People like me, who prefer living out in the boonies, are used to preparing for storms, power outages, etc. I have a freezer full of food and a pantry with plenty of canned goods. I have plenty of toilet paper and soap.

    But I’m sure that now, I’d be called a hoarder.

    Most of us have livestock. Horses and cattle, llamas, sheep, etc…they need food, too. If you happen to be in between hay deliveries, what are you supposed to do?

    Telling people to stay home doesn’t take into account that we use up things: TP, food, etc. I do agree that it’s wise to stay home, and I honestly don’t mind it, but when things run out, we’re forced to drive miles only to find out that there’s no TP on the shelves. Only if one had the wisdom to buy in bulk long before this epidemic are you okay for what might take months.
    I have learned a long time ago, when our power goes out for weeks, or we’re buried up to our fannies in snow, not a single city dweller, not a single legislator or government bureaucrat, ever came out to check on us to see if we had the necessities. No one who says “Stay Home” will bother to check on us ‘country folks’.

    Sorry to rant on your dime, my friend.

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